Our Top 20 Most Downloaded Publications of 2017

If we wanted to make a list of publications that showed the depth of the work of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, we couldn’t do better than the list of the most downloaded publications released in 2017. Covering the health effects of cannabis, science communication, genome editing, immigration, health equity, dementia, and climate science, the variety of our work coincides with the most read.

We released 327 publications this year. These were the most downloaded.

#1

The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research

Significant changes have taken place in the policy landscape surrounding cannabis legalization, …

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#2

Communicating Science Effectively: A Research Agenda

Science and technology are embedded in virtually every aspect of modern life. As a result, …

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#3

The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration

The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration finds that the long-term impact of …

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#4

Human Genome Editing: Science, Ethics, and Governance

Genome editing is a powerful new tool for making precise alterations to an organism’s genetic …

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#5

Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity

In the United States, some populations suffer from far greater disparities in health than …

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#6

Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Way Forward

Societies around the world are concerned about dementia and the other forms of cognitive …

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#7

Seeing Students Learn Science: Integrating Assessment and Instruction in the Classroom

Science educators in the United States are adapting to a new vision of how students learn …

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#8

Valuing Climate Damages: Updating Estimation of the Social Cost of Carbon Dioxide

The social cost of carbon (SC-CO2) is an economic metric intended to provide a comprehensive …

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#9

Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?

Recent years have yielded significant advances in computing and communication technologies, with …

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#10

Review of the Draft Climate Science Special Report

The United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is moving towards a sustained …

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#11

Pain Management and the Opioid Epidemic: Balancing Societal and Individual Benefits and Risks of Prescription Opioid Use

Drug overdose, driven largely by overdose related to the use of opioids, is now the leading …

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#12

Preparing for Future Products of Biotechnology

Between 1973 and 2016, the ways to manipulate DNA to endow new characteristics in an organism …

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#13

Supporting Students’ College Success: The Role of Assessment of Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies

The importance of higher education has never been clearer. Educational attainment—the number …

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#14

Fostering Integrity in Research

The integrity of knowledge that emerges from research is based on individual and collective …

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#15

Promoting the Educational Success of Children and Youth Learning English: Promising Futures

Educating dual language learners (DLLs) and English learners (ELs) effectively is a national …

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#16

Using 21st Century Science to Improve Risk-Related Evaluations

Over the last decade, several large-scale United States and international programs have been …

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#17

Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation’s Electricity System

Americans’ safety, productivity, comfort, and convenience depend on the reliable supply of …

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#18

Undergraduate Research Experiences for STEM Students: Successes, Challenges, and Opportunities

Undergraduate research has a rich history, and many practicing researchers point to …

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#19

Refining the Concept of Scientific Inference When Working with Big Data: Proceedings of a Workshop

The concept of utilizing big data to enable scientific discovery has generated tremendous …

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#20

Global Health and the Future Role of the United States

While much progress has been made on achieving the Millenium Development Goals over the last …

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Immunization Safety: Protecting Public Health

In 1900, for every 1,000 babies born in the United States, 100 would die before their first birthday, often due to infectious diseases. Today, vaccines exist for many viral and bacterial diseases. Our collection of reports examine immunization safety in depth and present the science to support vaccination’s crucial role in protecting public health.

Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality

In 1900, for every 1,000 babies born in the United States, 100 would die before their first birthday, often due to infectious diseases. Today, vaccines exist for many viral and bacterial diseases. …

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Eliminating the Public Health Problem of Hepatitis B and C in the United States: Phase One Report

Hepatitis B and C cause most cases of hepatitis in the United States and the world. The two diseases account for about a million deaths a year and 78 percent of world’s hepatocellular carcinoma …

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The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies

Vaccines are among the most safe and effective public health interventions to prevent serious disease and death. Because of the success of vaccines, most Americans today have no firsthand …

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Ranking Vaccines: A Prioritization Framework: Phase I: Demonstration of Concept and a Software Blueprint

As a number of diseases emerge or reemerge thus stimulating new vaccine development opportunities to help prevent those diseases, it can be especially difficult for decision makers to know where …

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Ranking Vaccines: A Prioritization Software Tool: Phase II: Prototype of a Decision-Support System

SMART Vaccines–Strategic Multi-Attribute Ranking Tool for Vaccines–is a prioritization software tool developed by the Institute of Medicine that utilizes decision science and modeling to help …

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Ranking Vaccines: Applications of a Prioritization Software Tool: Phase III: Use Case Studies and Data Framework

SMART Vaccines – Strategic Multi-Attribute Ranking Tool for Vaccines – is a prioritization software tool developed by the Institute of Medicine that utilizes decision science and modeling to help …

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Throwback Thursday: Valuing Ecosystem Services

Ecosystems provide a wide variety of marketable goods. However, society is increasingly recognizing the myriad functions—the observable manifestations of ecosystem processes such as nutrient recycling, regulation of climate, and maintenance of biodiversity—that they provide, without which human civilizations could not thrive.

Valuing Ecosystem Services evaluates methods for assessing services and the associated economic values of aquatic and related terrestrial ecosystems. It focuses on identifying and assessing existing economic methods to quantitatively determine the intrinsic value of these ecosystems in support of improved environmental decision-making, including situations where ecosystem services can be only partially valued.

Valuing Ecosystem Services: Toward Better Environmental Decision-Making

Nutrient recycling, habitat for plants and animals, flood control, and water supply are among the many beneficial services provided by aquatic ecosystems. In making decisions about human activities, such as draining a wetland for a housing …

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Understanding the Impact of the Social and Behavioral Sciences on the Weather Enterprise

There is growing recognition that a host of social and behavioral factors affect how we prepare for, observe, predict, respond to, and are impacted by weather hazards. For example, an individual’s response to a severe weather event may depend on their understanding of the forecast, prior experience with severe weather, concerns about their other family members or property, their capacity to take the recommended protective actions, and numerous other factors.

It is essential to bring to bear expertise in the social and behavioral sciences (SBS) to understand how people’s knowledge, experiences, perceptions, and attitudes shape their responses to weather risks and to understand how human cognitive and social dynamics affect the forecast process itself. Our report explores and provides guidance on the challenges of integrating social and behavioral sciences within the weather enterprise. It assesses current SBS activities, describes the potential value of improved integration of SBS and barriers that impede this integration, develops a research agenda, and identifies infrastructural and institutional arrangements for successfully pursuing SBS-weather research and the transfer of relevant findings to operational settings.

Integrating Social and Behavioral Sciences Within the Weather Enterprise

Our ability to observe and forecast severe weather events has improved markedly over the past few decades. Forecasts of snow and ice storms, hurricanes and storm surge, extreme heat, and other severe weather events are made with greater accuracy, …

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The Science of Science Communication: Free Webcast and Resources

With so many complex and sometimes uncertain scientific issues facing our society, there has never been a more critical time to communicate science effectively. A National Academy of Sciences event, the Arthur M. Sackler Colloquium on the Science of Science Communication III begins today and runs through tomorrow, November 17th. Watch the free webcast to hear from researchers, practitioners, content experts, and philanthropists, all vested in ensuring that evidence-based science communication thrives.

Our books provide guidance to improve communication of and public engagement with science:

Communicating Science Effectively: A Research Agenda

Science and technology are embedded in virtually every aspect of modern life. As a result, people face an increasing need to integrate information from science with their personal values and other considerations as they make important life …

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The Science of Science Communication II: Summary of a Colloquium

Successful scientists must be effective communicators within their professions. Without those skills, they could not write papers and funding proposals, give talks and field questions, or teach classes and mentor students. However, communicating …

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Science Literacy: Concepts, Contexts, and Consequences

Science is a way of knowing about the world. At once a process, a product, and an institution, science enables people to both engage in the construction of new knowledge as well as use information to achieve desired ends. Access to …

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Effective Chemistry Communication in Informal Environments

Chemistry plays a critical role in daily life, impacting areas such as medicine and health, consumer products, energy production, the ecosystem, and many other areas. Communicating about chemistry in informal environments has the potential to …

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Communicating Chemistry: A Framework for Sharing Science: A Practical Evidence-Based Guide

A growing body of evidence indicates that, increasingly, the public is engaging with science in a wide range of informal environments, which can be any setting outside of school such as community-based programs, festivals, libraries, or home. Yet …

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Trust and Confidence at the Interfaces of the Life Sciences and Society: Does the Public Trust Science? A Workshop Summary

Does the public trust science? Scientists? Scientific organizations? What roles do trust and the lack of trust play in public debates about how science can be used to address such societal concerns as childhood vaccination, cancer screening, and …

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Scientific Research Disaster Recovery Grants from the Gulf Research Program

Photo credit: NASA

This week, the Gulf Research Program announced it will be awarding up to $2 million in fast-track grants to help scientific research efforts recover from the impacts of Gulf Coast hurricanes Harvey and Irma. For more information about this and other funding opportunities from the program, visit www.nas.edu/gulf/grants.

Over its 30-year duration, the Gulf Research Program works to enhance oil system safety and the protection of human health and the environment in the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. outer continental shelf areas by seeking to improve understanding of the region’s interconnecting human, environmental, and energy systems and fostering application of these insights to benefit Gulf communities, ecosystems, and the Nation.

Learn more about the Gulf Research Program.

The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2016

Each year, the Gulf Research Program (GRP) produces an annual report to summarize how funds were used. These reports review accomplishments, highlight activities, and, over time, will assess metrics to determine how the program is progressing in …

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The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2015

Each year, the Gulf Research Program produces an annual report to summarize how funds were used. These reports review accomplishments, highlight activities, and, over time, will assess metrics to determine how the program is progressing in …

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The Gulf Research Program: A Strategic Vision

In 2010 the Deepwater Horizon explosion and fire in the Gulf of Mexico caused the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, resulting in significant impacts on the region’s environment and residents. Legal settlements with the …

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The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2013-2014

The 2013-2014 annual report highlights the establishment and first activities of the Gulf Research Program, an independent, science-based program founded in 2013. Through grants, fellowships, and other activities, the Gulf Research Program seeks …

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Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Community Resilience and Health: Summary of a Workshop

There are many connections between human communities and their surrounding environments that influence community resilience and health in the Gulf of Mexico. The impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Gulf communities and ecosystems …

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Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Monitoring Ecosystem Restoration and Deep Water Environments: Summary of a Workshop

Environmental monitoring in the Gulf of Mexico poses extensive challenges and significant opportunities. Multiple jurisdictions manage this biogeographically and culturally diverse region, whose monitoring programs tend to be project-specific by …

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Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Middle-Skilled Workforce Needs: Summary of a Workshop

During the period 1990 to 2010, U.S. job growth occurred primarily in the high-skilled and low-skilled sectors. Yet, one-third of projected job growth for the period 2010-2020 will require middle-skilled workers — who will earn strong …

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Throwback Thursday: Science, Evolution, and Creationism

Science, Evolution, and Creationism explains the fundamental methods of science, documents the overwhelming evidence in support of biological evolution, and evaluates the alternative perspectives offered by advocates of various kinds of creationism, including “intelligent design.” The book explores the many fascinating inquiries being pursued that put the science of evolution to work in preventing and treating human disease, developing new agricultural products, and fostering industrial innovations.

Our Evolution Collection details the extensive evidence that exists in support of biological evolution, stresses the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem management, and evaluates the alternative perspectives offered by various kinds of creationism. These reports also focus on how science and religion can be viewed as different ways of understanding the world, rather than as frameworks that are in conflict with each other.

 

Science, Evolution, and Creationism

How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other …

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Mitigating the Misuse of Life Sciences Research

Dual Use Research of Concern in the Life Sciences: Current Issues and Controversies examines the U.S. strategy for reducing biosecurity risks in life sciences research and considers mechanisms that would allow researchers to manage the dissemination of the results of research while mitigating the potential for harm to national security.

On October 20th, members of the authoring committee for the report, Arturo Casadevall and Claire Fraser, participated in a Reddit AMA discussing the misuse of life sciences research and ways to mitigate this threat. Read the archive here.

Learn more about biosecurity with our collection.

Dual Use Research of Concern in the Life Sciences: Current Issues and Controversies

The potential misuse of advances in life sciences research is raising concerns about national security threats. Dual Use Research of Concern in the Life Sciences: Current Issues and Controversies examines the U.S. strategy for reducing biosecurity risks in life sciences research and …

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Gain-of-Function Research: Summary of the Second Symposium, March 10-11, 2016

On March 10-11, 2016, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a public symposium on potential U.S. government policies for the oversight of gain-of- function (GOF) research. This was the Academies’ second meeting held at the request of the U.S. government to provide …

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Challenges and Opportunities for Education About Dual Use Issues in the Life Sciences

The Challenges and Opportunities for Education About Dual Use Issues in the Life Sciences workshop was held to engage the life sciences community on the particular security issues related to research with dual use potential. More than 60 participants from almost 30 countries took part and …

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Understanding Biosecurity: Protecting Against the Misuse of Science in Today’s World

Drawing on the work of the National Academies, this booklet introduces some of the issues at the intersection of science and security. The life sciences offer tremendous promise for meeting many 21st century challenges. But with opportunities come responsibilities. An important aspect of …

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The Great ShakeOut

Did you participate in the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill today? It is imperative that communities and the nation consider the difficult fiscal, social, cultural, and environmental choices about the best ways to ensure basic security and quality of life against earthquakes. These books present a roadmap for increasing our national resilience to earthquakes and outline additional information, data, gaps, and obstacles that need to be addressed in order to do so.

The Cascadia Megaquake webinar series focused on the science and engineering associated with the earthquake source, the hazards, current strategies to mitigate loss of life, and emerging opportunities in early warning and reducing uncertainty.

Watch Part 1

Watch Part 2

 

National Earthquake Resilience: Research, Implementation, and Outreach

The United States will certainly be subject to damaging earthquakes in the future. Some of these earthquakes will occur in highly populated and vulnerable areas. Coping with moderate earthquakes is not a reliable indicator of preparedness for a major earthquake in a populated area. The recent, …

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Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative

No person or place is immune from disasters or disaster-related losses. Infectious disease outbreaks, acts of terrorism, social unrest, or financial disasters in addition to natural hazards can all lead to large-scale consequences for the nation and its communities. Communities and the nation …

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Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation’s Preparedness Efforts

Many coastal areas of the United States are at risk for tsunamis. After the catastrophic 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, legislation was passed to expand U.S. tsunami warning capabilities. Since then, the nation has made progress in several related areas on both the federal and state levels. …

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The Future of Energy

Electricity is indispensable to modern society, but emissions resulting from many forms of electricity generation create environmental risks that continue to threaten significant negative economic, security, and human health consequences. How can we balance the affordability and reliability of more traditional methods with the low emissions of cleaner power generation? Our reports discuss options and opportunities to move towards increasingly clean electric power technologies.

The Power of Change: Innovation for Development and Deployment of Increasingly Clean Electric Power Technologies

Electricity, supplied reliably and affordably, is foundational to the U.S. economy and is utterly indispensable to modern society. However, emissions resulting from many forms of electricity generation create environmental risks that could have significant negative economic, security, and human …

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Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation’s Electricity System

Americans’ safety, productivity, comfort, and convenience depend on the reliable supply of electric power. The electric power system is a complex “cyber-physical” system composed of a network of millions of components spread out across the continent. These components are owned, operated, …

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Overcoming Barriers to Deployment of Plug-in Electric Vehicles

In the past few years, interest in plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) has grown. Advances in battery and other technologies, new federal standards for carbon-dioxide emissions and fuel economy, state zero-emission-vehicle requirements, and the current administration’s goal of putting millions of …

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Utilizing the Energy Resource Potential of DOE Lands

The potential for energy resource development on Department of Energy (DOE)-managed lands remains a topic of interest within DOE, Congress, and with private developers interested in siting projects on DOE lands. Several previous studies have estimated the energy resource development potential …

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Commercial Aircraft Propulsion and Energy Systems Research: Reducing Global Carbon Emissions

The primary human activities that release carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere are the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil) to generate electricity, the provision of energy for transportation, and as a consequence of some industrial processes. Although aviation CO2 …

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An Assessment of the Prospects for Inertial Fusion Energy

The potential for using fusion energy to produce commercial electric power was first explored in the 1950s. Harnessing fusion energy offers the prospect of a nearly carbon-free energy source with a virtually unlimited supply of fuel. Unlike nuclear fission plants, appropriately designed fusion …

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Addressing the Energy-Water Nexus: 2013-2014 Meetings in Brief

Adequate water and energy are critical to the continued economic security of the United States. The relationship between energy and water is complex, and the scientific community is increasingly recognizing the importance of better understanding the linkages between these two resource domains. …

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